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Louth Dolphins display community spirit to raise money for NHS

Members of Louth Dolphins Swimming Club combined to complete 2,020 miles of exercise as part of a charity challenge to raise more than £1,000 for their local NHS services.

Following the temporary closure of Meridian Leisure Centre, the club, which is based in the market town of Louth, Lincolnshire, quickly adjusted to the new circumstances.

As a voluntary club, Louth Dolphins were able to prioritise the health and wellbeing of their members, not burdened by financial commitments.

Head coach Kate Thompson and club secretary Catherine Billington immediately began communicating with their members to maintain positivity and physical health.

Kate said: “The pandemic has changed all our lives considerably, but has made us all stop and spend valuable time with our families.

“We have been in constant contact with our swimmers to keep spirits high and reassure all that better days will soon be upon us.

“Claire Payne, one of our performance coaches, has been an absolute rock to our performance squad by posting land-based exercises to keep their fitness levels up and joining in herself, keeping everyone motivated.”

Raising the bar

Once the squad had settled into its new routine, a parent volunteer, Rebecca Taylor, proposed a challenge to unite the Dolphins for a good cause.

On Sunday 26 April, they set out to run, walk and cycle a combined total of 2,020 miles, adhering to government guidelines.

Athletes, parents, grandparents, friends, neighbours and even pets ensured the goal was comfortably met, with £1,217 raised to help the NHS purchase essential equipment.

The Mason-Smith family were particularly lauded for their efforts, cycling 100 miles in six hours from their home and contributing £200.

Kate added: “We cannot thank all our members and families enough for their hard work and generosity in raising vital money for such a great cause.

“We must focus on the positive side of every situation and our members have embraced and adapted so well under such difficult circumstances.

“Without question, everyone came together and smashed the challenge of exercising the target of 2,020 miles.”